If you have been injured in an auto accident due to a road defect in or around Greenville, you may be owed compensation for your injuries. The government has a responsibility to maintain the roads to keep our population safe. A recent study from the American Society of Civil Engineers found that 18% of roads in South Carolina are in poor condition. Damaged roads can be very dangerous for even the most careful drivers.
The attorneys at Hammack Law Firm are committed to securing compensation for injured victims. We have decades of combined legal experience fighting successfully on behalf of our clients. Contact us today at (864) 326-3333 to schedule a free consultation and learn about your legal options.
Why You Need A Lawyer
There are some unique challenges that come with handling a car accident that was caused by road defects. Instead of filing a standard insurance claim, you will need to seek compensation from the government entity who is responsible for that road. This can be a tricky process, as there are time limits and additional requirements to file a claim against the government. Additionally, if yours was the only vehicle involved, there may not be other witnesses who can provide a statement of what occurred.
The good news is, many people have successfully secured compensation for accidents caused by road defects in South Carolina. The Greenville News reported that the Insurance Reserve Fund paid out over $30 million in compensation for such accidents on behalf of the South Carolina Department of Transportation over a six-year period.
An experienced lawyer will understand the specific details that are key to winning a case against the Department of Transportation or other government entity. They will be able to help you through the legal process so you can be confident that everything is done correctly.
Why Choose Us
Hammack Law Firm is a small firm that prioritizes giving individualized attention to each client. While big firms may handle cases with a formulaic, one-size-fits-all approach, our approach is completely different. Since each person and case is different, we take the time to truly develop a relationship with our clients so we can understand what you are going through currently, as well as your goals for the future.
Our clients have left excellent reviews of their experiences with Hammack Law Firm over the years. Many former clients have expressed gratitude for our expertise, great communication, patience, and personal attention. Through their positive ratings, we have earned five stars on Avvo and Facebook. Additionally, we have received the AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell.
Types of Road Defects
Some road defects are due to a lack of maintenance, while others are a result of poor design from the beginning. Some common types of road defects include:
- Worn Pavement or Potholes
- Missing or Faded Lane Markers
- Missing Guardrails
- Narrow Shoulders
- Inadequate Lighting
- Unclear or Missing Road Signs
- Poor Water Drainage
- Road Debris
Road defects can occur on small residential streets as well as large interstate highways, and every type of road in between. The level of government that has jurisdiction over the road depends on the type of road and where it is located.
Other Road Users
Drivers of vehicles are not the only ones who can be affected by a lack of road maintenance or poor road design. Pedestrians and bicyclists also travel on or near the road, and they can also be injured due to bad road conditions, inadequate lighting, improper signage, or other issues. Since pedestrians and bicyclists do not have much protection, if they are hit by a vehicle, their injuries can be especially severe.
Building Your Case
After the accident, you should try to gather as much evidence as possible to share with an attorney. This could include photos from the scene of the crash, the contact information of witnesses, medical records, and any other evidence you think will be useful. An attorney can help you gather additional evidence as well.
When the accident involves road defects, it is especially important that these defects are clearly documented with photo evidence. If it is safe to do so, you may choose to revisit the area where the crash occurred to take detailed photos. Our attorneys will also work with an accident reconstruction team to visit the site of the accident and assess the extent of the road defects and their role in the accident.
When road damage causes an accident, the government entity that is responsible for that road may be held liable. This could include the city, county, state, or federal government.
In order to prove that the government owes you compensation for your injuries, the following criteria must be satisfied to show that the government was negligent:
- The government had a duty to design and maintain safe roads to protect the citizens.
- The government failed to perform proper maintenance or allowed construction of a poorly designed road.
- The road defects directly caused an accident when the driver was using the road in a reasonable way and following the rules of the road.
- The accident resulted in injuries that were not preexisting or from a separate cause.
Our attorneys will work hard to gather evidence that proves what occurred before, during, and after the accident. We will also take into consideration the applicable laws that relate to your situation. Together, this information will allow us to build a strong case as we seek to secure compensation for your injuries.
There are some local and state laws to be aware of that could affect your claim.
- Statute of Limitations – When it comes to filing a claim against the government, the amount of time you have to file a claim is often shorter than a typical personal injury case. The city, state, and federal government each have their own laws about filing claims after an accident, depending on who has jurisdiction over the road where the accident occurred.
- Comparative Negligence – South Carolina follows the law of modified comparative negligence. This means that if you are found to be partly at fault for an accident, you can still recover some compensation, but it will be reduced based on the percentage you were at fault. If your level of fault is higher than other involved parties, however, you will not be allowed to recover any compensation.
It can be difficult to understand the specifics of these laws and the many other laws that may apply to your case. Mistakes in filing your claim can reduce your compensation, slow down the process, or even make you ineligible for compensation entirely. This may sound overwhelming, but you can trust that Hammack Law Firm will do everything we can to guide you through the process in order to help you secure full compensation in a timely manner.
Multiple Liable Parties
If there was more than one vehicle involved in the accident, another driver may also be partially liable for your injuries. For example, if the other driver was speeding, distracted, intoxicated, or engaged in any other careless behavior, they may have also contributed to the accident in addition to the poor road conditions. It can be difficult to determine who is liable, but an experienced attorney will use many resources to gather important evidence and hold the correct parties financially responsible.
Types of Compensation
The amount of compensation you receive will depend on how severely you were injured, as well as other factors. We will discuss the types of compensation that you may be owed during our first meetings, so you have an idea of what to expect. In general, you may be owed compensation for:
- Current and future medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Long term care and rehabilitation
- Emotional trauma
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning potential
If your loved one was killed in an accident caused by road defects, you may file a wrongful death claim. This could cover funeral and burial expenses, loss of companionship, loss of future earning potential, and other losses associated with their death.
We cannot guarantee specific financial results, but we do guarantee that we will use every resource we have available to advocate for you to receive the full amount of compensation you are owed. You won’t have to worry about not being able to afford an attorney. We are a contingency fee based firm, so we only make money if you do!
Contact a Greenville Car Accident Attorney
The attorneys at Hammack Law Firm are committed to serving the people in and around Greenville. When someone in our community is injured due to road defects, we make it a priority to not only secure compensation for your injuries, but also to protect others in our community.
By holding the government accountable, we send the message that it is crucial for them to invest money in developing safer roads to prevent other residents of South Carolina from being involved in similar accidents. With decades of experience on our side, you can count on the attorneys at Hammack Law Firm to handle your road defect case.
Contact Hammack Law Firm today at (864) 326-3333 or start an online chat to schedule a free consultation.